Uganda’s ministry of finance optimistic of SGR funding

Uganda's ministry of finance optimistic of SGR funding
A security guard stands between the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line constructed by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) and financed by Chinese government ahead of the launch of the cargo train in Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa, May 30, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer

The Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development says that it still hopes to get funding from China’s Exim Bank for the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).

The Uganda Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) is a USD 2.269bn planned railway system linking the country to the neighbouring countries of Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Congo, and Democratic Republic of Congo.

However, the SGR project stands at crossroads as China who is funding the project through Exim bank said the project is not viable.

As a result, Kenya failed to get the 3.6 billion dollars required for the third phase of the SGR on the Kenyan side, meaning Uganda’s SGR project would be affected.

However, the government says that Uganda is continuing with the preparations, compensation of people, acquiring way leave access among other things so that the project is not affected despite reports from Exim bank.

According to Maris Wanyera, the Ministry of Finance director debt and cash management, they still hope to get the required money from Exim bank, since Uganda has not yet reached a conclusion with the bank.

According to Wanyera, the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) is far from any failure as there are several options that can be worked out as a community.

She says that at the moment Uganda has not thought of another partner to fund the project.

In Uganda, a total of 1724 Km of SGR line is to be developed in a phased manner starting with the Malaba-Kampala route of 271.6 Km.

Although the Government says that the program will go on even without the Kenyan side finalizing its part, the five-year implementation plan for the project could be affected.